Ok, even *I* know that a missing boot manager probably is not a good thing. So first I panicked, then I got on the phone with my son the computer guy, who walked me through figuring out what to Google on my Kindle Fire *huggles Kindle Fire* and started taking me through the steps. Normally I'm good at figuring out what to Google on my own and following directions, but I was still kind of panicking and my brain wasn't functioning right. We got to where it says press the F8 key, which I did, and nothing happened. Repeatedly. To make a long and stupid story short, he had my husband burn a system repair disk on his laptop, and after several go-rounds and errors and false starts and restarts and stuff, my computer is finally restored and working again. And everything's peachy.
Except I lost the 1000 words or so that I wrote right before the crash.
But it could have been much, much worse. Everything else important is backed up to SugarSync, Dropbox, and an external hard drive. Last summer when my old computer died, I was afraid it was my media storage internal hard drive that had gone belly-up and that I had lost my music and videos. I also had photos on that drive, but I back up my photos to online storage. It still would have been a pain to get them all back onto my computer. Fortunately (I guess), it turned out the problem was with the motherboard, which was about to blow, and all my data was safe. Still, I went out and bought a portable external hard drive, which now stores backups of everything. Music, photos, videos, documents, ebooks, everything.
So, a couple of lessons here. First of all, make yourself a system repair disk for your computer now, before you need it. I was lucky that there are two other working computers with the same OS as mine in the house, and one was not being used for video games at the time, so I was able to get a system repair disk made. Go in the control panel, poke around until you find stuff about system repair and maintenance, and follow the directions. Or, if you don't feel computer-savvy enough to do that, have a more knowledgable relative or acquaintance help you. Or, shoot, get the guys at your friendly local computer repair shop to do it for you.
The other thing is, backup BACKUP BACKUP!!!!!!! In at least 2 places, online and external drive, even on a thumb drive if you must, though those aren't really intended for backup but for toting files around and can give out without warning. I use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) for my writing files, and also back up my writing files and other important files to SugarSync and Dropbox. If you don't have one or the other, sign up, it's free. And if you sign up through one of my referral links, we each get a bonus chunk of free storage:
And it's late, and I'm too tired to re-write those thousand words. I'll try again tomorrow.